Cai Guo-Qiang was commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to create a site-specific explosion event on the front facade of the museum. The project, titled Fallen Blossoms, used a gunpowder fuse, metal net, and scaffolding to activate a blossom pattern for 60 seconds, temporarily setting the columns of the building ablaze.
Since 1990, Chinese artist,Cai Guo-Qiang began working on large scale site-specific works that were temporal performance installations using fireworks and gunpowder. These projects titled ‘ Projects for Extraterristrials’ spanned across buildings and landscapes all over the world. His most expansive project to date include the Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10 in 1993 which involved a 6 mile-long gunpowder fuse that extended beyond the West end of the Great Wall of China. The fuse which burned for 15minutes, travelled across the stretch like a smoking dragon, creating a trail across the dunes symbolic of China’s historic and mythical existence.
æOver 40,000 rockets blasting off from the wall of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. On Saturday April 7, artist Cai Guo-Qiang marked the opening of his exhibition with Mystery Circle: Explosion Event for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; a site-specific work created for MOCA.”
CAI GUO-QIANG: SKY LADDER
On view April 8, 2012–JULY 30, 2012
The Gefffen Contemporary at MOCA
Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese born, New York based artist who utilizes pyrotechnics as a medium for many of his works. You have probably seen his well known gunpowder drawings he has been making for more than 20 years. He also creates large scale pieces with fireworks, some of the titles referencing extraterrestrials, because he wants them to be big enough to see from space. He was the first Asian artist to have a solo show at the Guggenheim in New York. It was a retrospective titled “I Want to Believe” in 2008 and 2009. After New York, it traveled to Beijing for the Olympics and also to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain.
As we read in the Arts Trade Journal, “The creation process of Odyssey was made available to the public at a 25,000 square foot warehouse in the south of Houston. After five days of zealous work from Cai, along with his team and dozens of local volunteers, the ignition took place and was viewed by a number of fortunate members of the public including the museum’s donators. This was Cai’s first commissioned work made specifically for permanent collection by an American museum.”
As a close member of the Citrus family told us, this family member living in Houston, “They like it in Houston because it is related to guns.”